Wet Trim vs Dry Trim | How to trim buds the best way?

Wet Trim vs Dry Trim

So you’ve been nurturing your cannabis plants with the utmost care, and now the time has come to trim the buds. You’re anxious, and you don’t want to mess up and you are probably wondering what’s best for your plant: wet trim vs dry trim? You’re also unsure of whether to trim buds before or after drying. Don’t worry because we’ve got your back. 

Here is the ultimate guide that answers all of your questions about a wet trim vs dry trim comparison.

Are you looking for a machine to trim your buds? Check out the best bud trimmer machines.

Wet Trimming

Getting that perfect, neat shape for your bud can be a tricky business. You want to get rid of the large fan leaves and sugar leaves, but you also don’t want to lose any precious trichome covered goodies.

Wet trimming is a popular trimming method amongst growers. This means to start cutting off the excess material and sugar leaves from the buds as soon as you have harvested the plant. The trimmed cannabis should then be hung up on a string or laid on a drying rack for the drying process. Meanwhile, the sugar leaves can be saved to be used in other products.

Some Facts about Wet Trimming

With this method, the trimming process is quicker as the stems and leaves are moist and flexible so you can maneuver around them easily. Hence, if you are going to hand trim the buds, this technique is the one to go along with. Wet trimming is also the most suitable method when using a trimming machine as there is a lesser risk of damaging buds while the plant is still wet.

Wet Trim vs Dry trim - Wet Trimming

When deciding upon a method, an important element to consider is the climate. If you are working in a humid environment, you’d want to speed up the drying process, which is exactly what a wet trim does. Removing extra leaves from around the buds means there is a lot less moisture that needs to dry up. A quicker drying period also means that less of the chlorophyll will have time to disappear, giving a harsher smoke.

Pros

  • Easier to access large and small leaves for trimming
  • Quicker trimming process
  • Quicker drying
  • Lesser risk of molding due to less moisture content around buds
  • Less space needed for drying
  • Rounder and fuller-looking buds

Cons

  • Lower quality buds, resulting in a harsher smoke
  • Trimming needs to be started right after harvesting
  • Messy as buds are still sticky with trichomes

Dry Trimming

Ensuring quality is a must for some growers, which is why they opt for the dry trimming method. It requires patience and hard work but the result is much better than wet trimming.

In this method, you harvest the branches and snip off the large fan leaves. However, the sugar leaves and some of the smaller fan leaves are left intact. Next, the branches are hung up on a string or wire and left to dry. Once they have dried up, you can move on to trimming the little treasures.

Some Facts about Dry Trimming

Leaving some of the leaves intact surrounds the bud in a humid environment, drying them out slowly and gradually. This is especially recommended if you are growing cannabis in a dry climate, although it does take about two weeks longer to dry than a wet trim. 

Dry Trimming Marijuana

In addition to this, dry trimming needs extra care and attention. The leaves usually shrivel and tangle up with the buds during the long drying process. This makes it harder to pick off and trim leaves without damaging the buds.

However, as we mentioned, the extra effort and time that goes into this method pay off. There are lower chlorophyll levels in the buds because of a slower drying process. This makes smoking a smoother and more enjoyable experience.

Pros

  • High-quality cannabis, leading to a smoother smoke
  • Most suitable method for arid climates
  • Less messy because the trichomes are not sticky and have dried

Cons

  • Very time consuming, as leaves curl up with the buds
  • Harder to work with because the buds along with the trichomes are delicate and can break easily
  • Higher risk of mold to develop due to high moisture level
  • May require extra working hands if you have a lot of plants to trim
  • Requires more room for drying
  • Hand trimming may be too tiresome and using expensive machines may become necessary

Trim Buds Before or After Drying

So here you are pondering over the same question again. To trim or not to trim? The truth is, there is no ‘correct’ method of trimming. Wet or dry, they both have their pros and cons. Growers around the globe choose their method according to their own specific needs and what suits their situation best. 

Trimming buds after or before drying

Things to Consider

Here are some things you should think about when deciding upon a method: 

  • Crop size: if you have a small number of plants to work with, then either of the methods would do the job. Wet trimming is easier when dealing with a lot of plants, whereas a dry trim would quickly become a tedious task and will take days to get done with
  • Climate: wet trimming is a big no if you’re planning on growing cannabis buds in a dry climate. You don’t want your plants to dry out faster than they should. Thus, in drier climates, dry trimming is preferred because the outer leaves protect the buds during the drying process. On the other hand, we recommend wet trimming for humid areas. This also prevents molds from forming
  • Time limits: you should opt for wet trimming if you need the final product faster. This is because of the extra days dry trimming needs during the drying process, plus the extra time and effort needed for trimming the brittle buds
  • Manual or machine: keep in mind how many working hands you have to help you out when thinking about a wet trim vs dry trim. Dry trimming can wear the life out of you if you’re going to be working alone. Also, decide beforehand whether you will be using a trimming machine or your hands. A trimming machine can make a dry trim job a lot easier and doable
  • Priorities: consider your priorities. Do you need a top-quality smoking experience for yourself or your customers? Or is quality a compromisable element for you, and a quicker yield is what you need? A wet trim can save you days of drying and curing, whereas a dry trim can take up to fifteen days more. You may be spending days altogether at trimming buds (if done manually) with the dry trim method

Our Recommendation

Whether you trim buds before or after drying comes down to your personal preference. You should try both methods and see what floats your boat. But in case you’re still confused, there is yet another option! If you still can’t decide what’s best, we recommend mixing up both methods.

You can do this by cutting off the larger fan and sugar leaves and letting the smaller ones stay on. Proceed towards the drying process, and once they have dried, trim off the remaining leaves. Areas that are not too wet or too dry are suitable for this method.

How to Trim Buds Before Drying?

If you have opted for wet trimming, here are some simple steps to accomplish the task: 

  1. Set up your workstation by placing three separate trays on it (one for untrimmed buds, one for the trimmed buds, and the last for trimmed material)
  2. Grab a pair of pruning shears or some big scissors and snip off the branches from the trunk. Cut them into whatever size is easy to handle.
  3. Pick off the fan leaf with your fingers. Be sure to remove all of them as they are of no use.
  4. Using a pair of sharp trimming scissors, begin trimming the sugar leaves. Try to get as close as possible to the stem without damaging the bud. The more leaf you trim, the better and purer your buds are.
  5. Make sure all the trimmed material is falling into their assigned tray. You can use this material in other products like hash etc. 
  6. After this, hang the buds upside down on a wire or a string from whatever little stem is left on it. Leave the buds to dry for about a week or until they have completely dried.
  7. The next step is curing. You will need to carefully place your buds in jars. Don’t overstuff the jars because then the buds won’t have room to breathe. Leave them this way for about two to three weeks in a cool and dark place with fifty to sixty percent humidity. Open the jars once every day to let in the fresh air.
  8. After three weeks, you will end up with the final product. You may leave the buds in for a few more weeks, opening the jars only once a week now. With time, they will improve in quality.

How to Trim Buds After Drying?

Dry trimming, as we have mentioned already, needs extra care. Here is a guide on how to best trim your buds using this method:

  1. Using pruning shears, cut off the branches from the main stem. At this stage, decide whether you will dry your buds along with the whole plant, or if you want to trim the branches into smaller sections and cut off larger leaves.
  2. Hang the branches upside down onto a string or a wire. Make sure there is enough room for air to circulate each branch. Leave them to dry for around two weeks or when the smaller stems have become dry and brittle.
  3. Set up your workstation, as described above.
  4. Snip off the excess stems until only a tiny bit of stem is left.
  5. Slowly and carefully trim the unwanted sugar leaves from the bottom of the bud, making precise snips, so you don’t cut more than you need to. Take your time because you don’t want to trim off the good stuff.
  6. Change your scissors when they get messy. This will also ensure precision cutting.
  7. Follow steps seven and eight, as mentioned above, to cure.

Final Words: Wet Trim vs Dry Trim

As we said earlier, there is no perfect method to grow cannabis. Consider all the elements we mentioned and experiment a bit. You will eventually find out what technique works best for your plants and what keeps them happy and healthy. 

Further Reading

Do you want more information on the best tools for growing marijuana? Check out our articles on the best rosin press, hydroponic tower gardens, grow light movers, complete grow tent kits & more.

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Wet Trim vs Dry Trim | How to trim buds the best way?
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Wet Trim vs Dry Trim | How to trim buds the best way?
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You’ve been nurturing your cannabis plants with the utmost care, and now you should trim the buds. So, what's best for your plant: wet vs dry trim?
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GrowYour420
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